Bayern Munich and Liverpool, both five-time European champions, will meet in one of three England-Germany clashes in the Champions League round of 16 following the draw at UEFA HQ on Monday, according to Brian Homewood of REUTERS. Man City will take on Schalke 04 and Tottenham will face Borussia Dortmund in the other clashes between the EPL and the Bundesliga. Reigning champion Real Madrid will face four-time winner Ajax Amsterdam, which has reached the knockout stages for the first time since '05-06. In "other ties," ManU will take on Paris St. Germain for the first time while defending Serie A champion Juventus will face defending Europa League winner Atlético Madrid, Barcelona will meet Olympique Lyonnais and AS Roma will play Porto. Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp "has the chance to renew a fierce rivalry with Bayern which dates back to his days in charge of Borussia Dortmund," where he won two successive Bundesliga titles (REUTERS, 12/17). In London, Ed Aarons reported Man City was handed "what appears, on paper at least, to be the most straightforward task against Schalke," which has struggled in the league this season under 33-year-old coach Domenico Tedesco. Man City Dir of Football Txiki Begiristain said, "This competition is getting hard. There are big draws and big games coming." It was confirmed that ManU will host PSG on Feb. 12, with the second leg in France on March 6. Spurs will host Borussia Dortmund on Feb. 13 and will play in Germany on March 5. Liverpool’s first leg against Bayern will be at Anfield on Feb. 19, with the return fixture on March 13. Man City will head to Schalke on Feb. 20 and host the German club on March 12 (GUARDIAN, 12/17).
Tottenham Manager Mauricio Pochettino urged Tottenham and Arsenal fans to "act responsibly" in Wednesday’s English Football League Cup quarterfinal, saying that the racist behavior that has marred football in the past two weeks is "the worst thing in the world." Pochettino: "I don’t want to be populist -- I don’t care whether it is our fans or other fans, I want to kill [racism]" (LONDON TIMES, 12/17).
A-League side Newcastle Jets coach Ernie Merrick came out "in support of embattled A-League referees," claiming Football Federation Australia has "thrown them under the bus." Merrick’s "blast" followed the latest round of games in which the referees covered the "Respect" badge on their shirts as a "silent protest" against FFA's decision not to sanction Wellington Phoenix coach Mark Rudan over his criticism of match officials (THE AUSTRALIAN, 12/17).